“Draw the art you want to see, start the business you want to run, play the music you want to hear, write the books you want to read, build the products you want to use, do the work you want to see done.” Austin Kleon
Vincent Harding was a close adviser to Dr. Martin Luther King and wrote King’s famous antiwar speech, “Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break the Silence.”
Like all On Being interviews; the conversation is generous and important but one part particularly resonated with me. Although Vincent Harding was talking about America and the hope that we might create a beloved community and rise above our meagre ambitions for a tolerant and civil society. . . this is also true of any community, any group of people seeking conversation for change and new ways of being.
. . to develop the best humanity, the best spirit, the best community, there needs to be discipline, practices of exploring. How do you do that? How do we work together? How do we talk together in ways that will open up our best capacities and our best gifts?
Let us consider that the development of a new way might require not just an open mind, or a preference or tendency towards intimacy and vulnerability, but something more.
That it may also require a discipline
A practice of sorts.
Which can sometimes feel at odds
In the battle between hard and soft skill.
For those who believe that distinction
One of the outputs of some various personality test I took once, designated the difference between my conative approach and that of another as coming down mostly to my comfort in chaos.
In the knowing that if you continue to explore and grapple with uncertainty, that the path you’ll take will become clear. The system required to resolve, will reveal itself. That the method for working with uncertainty is actually quite certain.
And whilst I believe it’s true that if you allow yourself to explore the chaos and the unlimited avenues of adventure within a scenario . . that the process will reveal itself. It’s also true that the same creative strategic thinking requires rigor, structure and discipline throughout.
A fine balance which is difficult to articulate, to navigate and to coach.